This week we have been working on nonfiction research. After we did our whole group study on whales, I wanted to take it a little further and do cooperative research where my students were the teachers and leaders and I was just facilitating. I decided that we would stick with animals because every 2nd grader is just absolutely enthralled with animals of all kinds!
I went to the library and checked out a TON of nonfiction books about animals. I wanted each animal to have at least 2-3 books so that my students would have plenty of research material. I got a wide variety of animals, and too many so that there would even be some left over!
After introducing what we were learning and doing, I had pairs of students come up and choose the animal they wanted to research. They worked together to read and research, but when it came to writing, each student was responsible for their own report. It was important that they were able to choose their animal, work together, and produce a final project on their own.
We spent a whole week on these animal reports. The students really worked at their own pace to get everything accomplished.
I got the idea of the foldable from a project that our 3rd grade teachers had hanging in the hallway. You can get the templates for mine HERE! I just simply folded a piece of construction paper to make two doors.
My students did work together to create a drawing of their animal. We didn’t have much time for this part, but they still turned out cute!
Before there were final products, there was a lot that went into the researching. Students asked questions and located answers. They found things they thought to be true were not! And, they could barely hold in all of the new information they were learning! I know tons of animal facts just because they couldn’t keep it to themselves, ha!
I still have a few friends that need to finish, but as soon as they are all complete we will share our reports with the class! I don’t teach Science, but I do still love incorporating this kind of thing into my language arts activities. We learned a lot about text features, charts and diagrams, and gathering information about our topic!